The National Security Committee convened at the Prime Minister's Office on Thursday for a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, during which the nation's top decision-makers discussed the geo-strategic and national security environment in light of the Pulwama incident and its aftermath.
Among key outcomes of the meeting was an order to accelerate anti-terrorism operations in the country to re-establish the state's writ, and the reinstatement of a ban on the Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and its charity arm, the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).
JuD, FIF banned
In February last year, former president Mamnoon Hussain had promulgated an ordinance amending the Anti-Terrorism Act with regards to proscription of terrorist individuals and organisations to include entities listed by the UN Security Council. The move had resulted in the declaration of JuD and FIF as proscribed groups.
However, the two Hafiz Saeed-linked organisations had slipped off the national list of proscribed organisations after the presidential ordinance lapsed.
This time, the two organisations have been notified as proscribed organisations by the PTI-led government itself, through the Ministry of Interior.
Before the government's official ban, the two organisations had been under watch by the Ministry of Interior under Section 11-D-(1), read with Schedule-II of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Pulwama under discussion
The members of the meeting noted and established that "the state of Pakistan is not involved in any way, means or form in the said incident" and that it was "conceived, planned and executed indigenously".
The statement asserted that Pakistan had made a sincere offer to investigate the incident and stands ready to enter into dialogue on the issue of terrorism and other disputed matters.
"We expect India to positively respond to the offers," it added.
It further stated that Pakistan "shall take action against anyone found using our soil [for terrorism]".
However, it called on the need for India to undertake "deep introspection to realise why [the] people of Indian-occupied Kashmir have lost [the] fear of death".
"The violence by Indian forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir is highly counterproductive. The global community needs to play its part in resolving the long pending Kashmir issue in accordance with UN resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiris," the statement stressed, urging action on the part of the international community.
Simultaneously, the NSC also gave formal authorisation to the armed forces "to respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure by India".
Re-establishing state's monopoly over violence
The statement also quoted the prime minister as saying that "this is a new Pakistan and we are determined to demonstrate to our people that the State is capable of protecting them and believes that monopoly of violence stays with State".
"This will not come with commitment alone. We recognise that terrorism and extremism are top issues in the region and the whole region including Pakistan have suffered," the press release stated.
It went on to highlight that Pakistan has endured casualties surpassing 70,000 in number, besides heavy losses to the national exchequer.
"That is why the National Action Plan conceived and issued in 2014, outlined concrete sequenced measures with consensus of all political parties and institutions of Pakistan," it further stated.
Editorial: Pulwama attack
Moving on to a broader discussion on terrorism, the PM Office statement underscored the need "to move to ensure that militancy and extremism are routed from the society and the State never becomes hostage to extremists".
The prime minister subsequently directed the interior ministry and security institutions to "immediately accelerate actions on ground" to ensure this.